Out on the edge of Picnic Island, near the Grand Basin I stood and listened to the hushed rumble of the fountains behind the clucks, cheeps and twitters of the winged creatures of the park. A jet was passing somewhere nearby and in the distance I could make out sounds of the city. The morning’s fog was enough to dull my photos, but not quite enough to create an air of mystery. I tried contrasting near and far with my telephoto lens (a Canon 100-400 if you really must know), but wasn’t getting the results I wanted, so I tried standing still and listening.
The geese who were congregated on Post Dispatch Lake had not been too pleased by my trespassing on their stomping grounds - I realized after hearing their angry honking and seeing all their tracks in the snow that I was on their hit list. I pictured in my mind a horror scene where an innocent photographer is pecked to death by a pack of crazed water fowl with a lust for human blood. It was about that time that I moved to the other side of the island.
One of the beauties of walking places (particularly places such as Forest Park, America’s premier urban park) is the slow pace. When I ride my bicycle I don’t see or hear the residents of the park, I overlook the small and the hidden and I miss the vistas by concentrating on the path ahead of me. When I walk, I look all around, I tread carefully and I find things. Today I found birds. Besides the Geese, those ill-tempered invaders from the north, I found a variety of small birds, the seed eaters, out and about. Male and female Cardinals, a Dark Eyed Junko, and a variety of sparrows entertained me as I serendipitously wandered where my fancy took me.
A single squirrel teased me from a branch across the water by Art Hill. Waving his tail, he zig-zagged back and forth along a branch, flaunting his tree-ratness in my direction. I personally root for the owls.